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The Cook County Jail in Chicago. (WTTW News)

While the number of women in prisons is relatively small compared to the number of incarcerated men, the rate of female incarceration is on the rise. Black women in particular are overrepresented in the nation’s jails and prisons.

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Stateville Correctional Center (WTTW News)

In the U.S., many people view incarceration as the punishment one receives for breaking the law. But a recently released study indicates that for the more than 3.3 million people with criminal records in Illinois, punishment continues well beyond time served.

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Noni Ahulau, from Honolulu, along with others, protests staffing shortages at the Federal Correctional Institution at Mendota, Monday, May 17, 2021, near the facility, in Mendota, Calif. The signs being displayed and held, at right, show a picture of FCI Mendota Warden Douglas K. White. (AP Photo / Gary Kazanjian)

Nearly one-third of federal correctional officer jobs in the United States are vacant, forcing prisons to use cooks, teachers, nurses and other workers to guard inmates.

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(WTTW News)

At the end of 2020, about 1,400 women were in the Illinois prison system, according to the Illinois Department of Corrections. One group is aiming to cut that number in half.

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(WTTW News)

The Illinois Department of Corrections will resume in-person visits at its facilities statewide over the next month, giving prisoners a chance to see their loved ones for the first time in more than a year.

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Stateville Correctional Center (WTTW News)

In Illinois there are more than 1,400 laws regulating the lives of people who are formerly incarcerated. A new book by Reuben Jonathan Miller examines these laws and how they affect the lives of people with felonies once they are out of prison.

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This Aug. 26, 2020, file photo shows the federal prison complex in Terre Haute, Ind. (AP Photo / Michael Conroy, File)

All federal prisons in the United States have been placed on lockdown, with officials aiming to quell any potential violence that could arise behind bars as law enforcement prepares for potentially violent protests across the country in the run-up to President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration on Wednesday. 

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(WTTW News)

“We ask that IDPH acknowledge the high risk of COVID-19 exposure for people living in all forms of state custody and the staff who work with them and prioritize them for vaccinations,” dozens of groups wrote in a letter to state health officials.

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In this Aug. 28, 2020, file photo, a no trespassing sign is displayed outside the federal prison complex in Terre Haute, Ind. (AP Photo / Michael Conroy, File)

As Donald Trump’s presidency winds down, his administration is ratcheting up the pace of federal executions despite a surge of coronavirus cases in prisons, announcing plans for five starting Thursday.

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Former Chicago police Officer Jason Van Dyke enters the courtroom for his sentencing hearing at the Leighton Criminal Court Building on Friday, Jan. 18, 2019. (Antonio Perez / Chicago Tribune / Pool)

Former Chicago police Officer Jason Van Dyke, who was convicted of second-degree murder of Black teen Laquan McDonald in 2014, is expected to be released in February 2022. While he remains in custody, it’s unclear where he will serve the remainder of his sentence.

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(ErikaWittlieb / Pixabay)

The coronavirus pandemic is highlighting systemic racism that Black and Brown communities have faced for decades, including systemic racism in the prison and criminal justice system. 

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(Thomas Hawk / Flickr)

The federal Bureau of Prisons announced it will resume visits for inmates at its 122 facilities beginning Oct. 3, though these meetings will include several safety precautions to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

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(WTTW News)

So far, three incarcerated men in Illinois — two who had been housed at Stateville prison in Crest Hill and a detainee at the Cook County Jail – have died from complications related to the coronavirus. A pair of court battles are now brewing.

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(ErikaWittlieb / Pixabay)

An 80-year-old man who spent nearly 60 years in prison after being convicted of killing one of three suburban Chicago women whose brutalized bodies were found in a state park walked out of prison Friday.

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Filmmaker Lynn Novick and Bard Prison Initiative graduate Dyjuan Tatro discuss the series “College Behind Bars” on “Chicago Tonight.” (WTTW News)

A new documentary series explores the rigorous Bard Prison Initiative that offers degrees to a select group of incarcerated men and women. Filmmaker Lynn Novick and program graduate Dyjuan Tatro join us in discussion.

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Albert Woodfox appears on “Chicago Tonight” on Sept. 24, 2019.

Albert Woodfox was held in solitary confinement for decades in Louisiana before his release in 2016. Now, he’s written a book about his experiences. He joins us to discuss “Solitary.”